Rep. Gabrielle Giffords

I read in today’s paper the following: “Space shuttle commander Mark Kelly wouldn’t go into details about her condition during a news conference Friday and deflected questions about how he knows she supports his choice to fly.” His wife, Gabrielle Giffords, sustained a gunshot wound to her head at a “meet in greet” in Arizona on January 8. He had been training for a scheduled mission in April. He took leave to be with her during this first month and there has been much speculation about whether he will fly. He has made his decision and I support him completely.

A month after my accident, I spent hours learning how to walk, eat and speak again. I remember working with a speech therapist where I learned how to put words together. Actually, first I had to recite lists of words separately before learning how to put them together! When my husband visited me at night, he patiently tried to understand what I was saying. Often, I just slept because it took so much energy to get the neurons working in my brain. Of course, she isn’t able to say she wants him to go! They’ve spent months if not years, talking about his missions so she knows how hard he has worked to reach this point! There isn’t anything he can do now that she is in rehab. She is in the care of professionals. The press doesn’t know what she needs and it makes me angry they would insinuate otherwise! His superiors would not allow him to fly if they thought there was any chance he could not focus on his mission.

We need to continue praying for Giffords and Kelly in these days ahead. They have a very difficult journey. I remember how hard it was for us. I say “us” because a brain injury doesn’t just change the person injured but rather all those in touch with that person, especially family members. I’ll write more about how family members are affected later. I might even ask my husband to write a guest post since I only know about his struggles through him telling me about them!

I have been involved in many discussions about Rep. Giffords just as I’ve had discussions about other “famous people” in the news who have begun this journey. And it is a journey. Even now as I write this, my emotions are running away with me because I know more about this journey then I ever wanted to know.

As always your comments are appreciated. Where are you in this journey? What has the journey been like if you’re a supporter? What are some of your thoughts about Giffords and Kelly? If you would like to comment here simply click on the comment button. You may contact me directly at tamara@indylink.org

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